Newsletter February 2008.
The Dutch Invasion!


Hello lovely people,
Hope you all doing fine.
A dear fiend of Germany Rita Bahr did sent me "About Time" of Steve Winwood. I was a big fan of this guy and his projects, from the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith till his great solo album "Arc of a Diver" ('80). At the end of 90-ies he made some albums that contained too much soul for me. But this album from 2003 (his latest!) is amazing:

Steve Winwood with "About Time" ('03);
An album with a lot of depth, good vibes and absolute fine percussion work of the masters of rhythm; Walfred Reyes Jr & Phillip Bailey. Steve plays Hammond on the whole album that is one of his highlights again. The Hammond together with the excellent percussion work and the lovely electric and acoustic guitar riffs, by Jose Neto, are dominated this album. Rhythms that makes your heart go dancing. A guy called Karl Denson plays some saxes and flute on a few tracks. The last song (11.25 minutes!) is more Rocky and is a new Mr.Fantasy, a fine early 70-ies piece of Rock, like Traffic used to make in their glory days. His soul voice is the creme on this master stroke of this almost 60 year young man.

There is a special edition of this album with 3 covers:

Dear Mr Fantasy
Why Can't We Live Together (Third World) &
Voodoo Chile of Jimmy Hendrix of almost 15 minutes!!!!

A must have!!!
So when i visited his site i found out his:

Three Nights Only at
New York
February 25th, 26th, 28th, 2008

Pfoe that is a show. Later this year he'll tour with Tom Petty in the States. Hope they'll come to Europe too!

This weekend was summertime in the lovely South of the Netherlands, normally we've snow here in this period. So it was time to go shopping to my favourite cd shop "Satisfaction". And so some Dutch bands will dominate MySpace.

The Nits with "Doing the Dishes" ('08);
The Nits are back in the charts and to my humble opinion they deserve it with this piece of Art. They've archive to make happy, cheerful Rockin' songs. Again sophisticated pop a-la Bob Dylan meets the Travelling Wilburries, Crowded House and David Byrne. And of course their lyrics are worth a better listen and or reading too, stories about live, sometimes funny sometimes serious like the single "Where have all the flowers gone?" (an anti-war song). Botleneck guitar, banjo's acoustic guitars, and swampy guitar riffs it's all there. A real feel-good album which shows that those Dutchmen are stil a live and kicking. A fine relaxed album for us older Rockers. Henk Hofstede - banjo, vocals, guitars,
Robert-Jan Stips - keyboards, vocals,
Rob Kloet - drums.
They're on tour, so please check out their dates.

Kingfisher's sky with "Hallway of dreams" ('07);
A brilliant debut album!
Ivar de Graaf made one of the toughest decisions of his life in 2001: he decided to leave the successful Dutch band Within Temptation: "The band was becoming a full time job. I no longer had the time to write my own music, which is something I really love doing. So I really had no choice, but to leave Within Temptation."
An absolute fine Prog album with he beautiful voice of Judith. Melodic prog at his best, some gothic influences but no heavy metal. Although i think that a wider Prog audience will like their approach. Yes Within Temptation is one of the bands that came in my mind, but happily (to my humble opinion) no grunge. A few songs are really laid back and Judith's beautiful voice can be explored to the max. The album is a good mix from more up tempo songs to more softer passages, so there is enough alternation which makes it album highly enjoyable.

Mangrove with "Coming back to live" ('06);
Mangrove may be reckoned to the top in the progressive rock genre in The Netherlands and has gained an excellent live-reputation. "Coming Back to Live" is an absolute fine Prog album. Really good live recording of those craftsmen from the Netherlands. A mix of old 70-ies Prog a la Genesis and some new influences. Sometimes you can hear a Tony Banks keyboard, listen to "Fatal Sign", what is a superb song with great dynamics, tempo changes and poundering bass loops. Roland vd Horst has a good voice and is credited for a few awesome guitar solo's ("City of Darkness" & "Facing the Sunset"). One of the best new 70-ies melodic Prog album i heard in years.
If you're able catch them life! A new Star on the Prog scene.
Highly Recommended!

Mangrove will be touring in Poland, Germany and the Netherlands and support The Reasoning for 2 gigs in May. Their album "Beyond reality" will be released in May.

Thanks to Henri H.

Kayak with "Coming up for air" ('08);
15 songs vary from bombastic symfo to smooth ballads. One of their best releases in the last years. Impressive vocals by Cindy Oudshoorn & Edward Reekers framed by saoring guitar work and keyboard collages. “Alienation”, "Man in the Cocoon" and “Coming up for air” are for me the best three songs of this album. What has that typical Kayak feel of the older stuff like Periscope life. Some lyrics are really funny / cynical and a trademark of this Dutch band. For me they could have deleted a few softer songs, with 15 songs it became a bit too long.
A very enjoyable album, i think the album will work out well on a live stage!

Ayreon with "01011001" ('08);
More news, videos, review, teasers etc etc on his website (click on the banner).

So that was the Dutch invasion. An other album that was my player the last 2 weeks is from a man from Rome, called GianCarlo Erra;

Nosound with "Lightdark" ('08);
Again a beautiful ambient spacy production, without becoming boring. On the contrary; the album is adventurous, full of sounds that only can be heard after a few listenings. Nice guitar work in the vein of Steve Wilson and David Gilmour. Spoken words and the cello gives some songs an extra dimension. So i got lost in those psychedelic soundscapes and ended in a happy warm trance. Music that needs a careful and complete listening. Some people will say that a minor point is that tis album could be a clone of Steve Wilsons ambient work. I prefer to say that Giancarlo has made a wonderful amazing production and that he's indeed influenced by Steve Wilson, why else you would call your band NoSound?!? But this gifted young man has added his own unique style and made a very fine album. And by the way; Tim Bownes (known from NoMan; a side project with Steve Wilson) is present on this album too. Check out this promising guy Rome!

To stay with Porcupine Tree, you can find a new interview by Marcel Haster at this lovely spot. And they will perform at PinkPop on the same day Metallica will perform! Another Porcupine Tree related band:

Abigail ghosts with "Selling Insincerity" ('07) , a great new album in the vein of Porcupine Tree, okay maybe it's not quite original but... it's well done! So if you like the more harder sound of Porcupine Tree, try these guys from the States.

Touchstone with "Discordant Dreams" ('07);
Is their latest release and I can say they have made another big step forwards. Apparently a year of gigging around, doing small festivals, changing the line-upp has brought this band to a higher level. A Rocking Prog album with a lots of keyboard and guitar interplay and pounding bass and drums, and Kims voice is giving these elxecent musicians a boost.

In January 2008 i saw them again doing the support act for The Reasoning. And i really liked their act, they've changed and there was a good welcrafted band playing with a hell of a frontlady who knew what she did and who has a good voice. Adam on guitar played some really great solo's and Moo on his bass layed down some fabulous loops. Rob on keyboards and vocals understood his job and build up a rocky structure to the proggy songs. Well done! And by the way the band won at CRS:

Best New Band - Touchstone!

So please keep an eye on those guys and beautiful gal. They're indeed a new promise on the Prog/Rock scene.

The Reasoning by Adrian the Rock at

Tour dates(another Dutch Invasion:

15th March 2008 Montgomery Hall, Wath-Upon-Dearne, Rotherham Supported by Gina Dootson
16 March 2008 Manor Barn, Acoustic Show, Rotherham

22nd May 2008 P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands Supported by Mangrove
23rd May 2008 De Nieuwe Nor, Heerlen, The Netherlands Support To Be Announced
24th May 2008 Metropool, Hengelo, The Netherlands Supported by Mangrove


Stay in tune!

More news about RPWL (pre-sale)(new album called "The RPWL Experience" out in March), Magenta (new album called " Metamorphosis", will be released soon), The Reasoning (pre-sale)(new album called Darkangel with John Mitchel! Out in May), Pendragon (big tour and some "Script" gigs!), and i guess Mostly Autumn (pre-sale)(album is called Glass Shadows) soon.
Live dates from all bands mentioned above and more you can find on this spot.

Take care and have a nice valentines day,
Nick from the lovely South of the Netherlands.

The best review on my site... and an excellent album.

of course on Myspace too:


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